In spring 1947 Joseph Beuys became a student in the class of Ewald Mataré at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and in 1951 he became a master student under Mataré. Beuys’s works from these years show that he engaged comprehensively and productively with the aesthetics taught by his teacher, especially with regard to religion, mythology and anthroposophy. Beuys later broke away from traditional notions of art and artistic-didactic concepts both in his actions and in his teaching with its focus on early drawings, sculptures and woodcuts.
This exhibition presents and analyses the proximity and disparity of Mataré and Beuys’s artistic roots. Encounters between the works of teacher and student reveal numerous aesthetic affinities and remarkable parallels in their spiritual lives. In addition, one exhibition room is devoted to works by Jörg Immendorff. In these works Immendorff, the »Beuys knight« and future professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, reflects on Beuys as a teacher and on his charismatic artistic persona.